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Sparano thoughts as rookie minicamp closes

The Dolphins ended their rookie minicamp on Sunday. These were coach Tony Sparano's thoughts -- at least the ones he shared with the media:

(On his thoughts about signing any of the rookies) – “I’m not sure right now. We’re going to visit on them a little bit later. We had a good group of guys, we really did. We have some guys that I think were very interesting during the course of the weekend and had some really good qualities.”

(On what he got out of the three days) – “I learned how people learn a little bit better. Some of these players, you’ve only heard, and have a lot of information from their school. It’s kind of second-hand information but you’re hearing it from them. You maybe have only seen them for 15 minutes at the combine and have the chance to visit with them that way. So, to get them in your building and to be able to see the way they learn. Everybody learns differently, you and me, everybody learns a little bit differently. I think that helps us tremendously in our approach down the road with them because they really are behind. Right now, our guys finished up Week 6, and they’re 24 or 25 workouts behind right now. So, they have a lot of catching up to do and they’re going to have about 24 hours from the time they land until we’re out on the field, so, it’s going to be a fast track for them. So I think that has been important. I think you also learn a little bit more about how they move and what some of their strengths are that way. I think those would be the two greatest areas.”

(On the official ruling on when the rookies can return) – “They can’t come back officially until May 16. So they’re done right now. So, the time they leave here May 16 is the first day the league allows them back into the facilities, so a couple of weeks.”

(On if he has frustration with the time he’s allotted with the rookies) – “You want the time, but you get it at the other end a little bit. When the veteran players are done, the young guys are able to be here a couple of weeks more so we kind of catch it at the other end. That’s not bad right now because I think what you want to do is have some time when they’re by themselves. From the time they get back here until the end they’ll kind of be mixed in with the veteran players. So, we’ll try to keep them separate a little bit in some of their lifting groups and that type of thing but at the end of the day they’ll be together.”

(On Koa Misi’s personality) – “He’s a pretty mellow guy right now. I haven’t seen him kind of just before the game or any of those types of things so I would imagine just watching the he plays and the way he practices that he can’t possibly be that way before a game. He is pretty calm and he’s a level-headed kid. The one thing that I thought with this group of linebackers that we brought in here—and one of my things with them in mornings is to throw questions at them in front of the group and have them answer these questions and see how some of these kids respond to football questions at them. That group of linebackers is a very smart group of people. So, the stuff that they’ve thrown back at me in the last couple of days has been really interesting. So, Koa being one of those guys—and he’s a pretty calm guy but very smart and has a different switch on game day. ”

(On Koa Misi never really watching football in past, only being a spectator) – “No, I think that’s pretty rare. I think that usually the people that you get have watched it and have grown up watching and all of that good stuff. But, with Koa it’s been a little bit different I guess. Whatever he’s done he’s done it right. It is a million miles an hour out here all the time and I’ like the way he plays. So, when I watch him out there from that standpoint you don’t have to worry about that practice happens or whether or not he’s going to be ready to go when he crosses the line.”

(On Reshad Jones practice speed) – “I felt him in the last couple of days. He’s been around the football a bunch and made a couple of plays yesterday in the bubble. I think that he’s got the hardest job out there obviously because he’s got to get things lined up. I think from his standpoint it’s trying to figure things out defensively. We really didn’t throw as much at him defensively in this camp as we did maybe thrown at the offensive but we did throw a pretty good dose at him. It won’t be like when we get down the road here and he’ll be getting it fast, but, we threw a pretty good dose at him. He digested it pretty well; I thought he moved around great.”

(On the group of players that he can tell more about in comparison to each other) – “The skill players definitely. The linebackers a little bit. I think one of the things with the linebackers that obviously you want to wait and see is the contact part of things and how they handle some of these blocks when it’s full live. I think the skill people, the defensive backs, receivers and those type of people you can see a little bit more out of—just in the way they run, they catch, their routes and any of those things. But, interior-wise and any of those things I think you kind of have to wait a little bit.”

(On how long he thinks it should take for the rookies’ adjustment process) – “I couldn’t tell you. I would hope that—it looks like right now that it’s been very good. We did our homework with how these kids learn. We do feel like they’re all very intelligent learners and quick learners that pick information up easily out there so I think that’s a big part of the curve. Now, when we get them back here, we’ve got to smother them with the fundamental part of things. Watching them out here right now, they get to the right people and get there relatively easy in certain situations but not using the proper fundamentals. Yesterday, a wheel route happened out here and we turned the wrong way to cover the wheel route. Well, until you start seeing those things as a linebacker and not as a guy with your hand in the dirt “I just need to get out there” kind of guy, I think that takes a little bit more time. But once they start to understand those fundamentals I think that they’re going to be fine.”

(On his timetable of players’ adaptation ability) – “It depends on who you’re looking at. I watched DeMarcus Ware do it pretty fast and I watched a guy like Greg Ellis do it pretty fast. I think that’s a rookie player and a veteran player at the same time—same year and kind of does the same thing. I think it really depends from a mental standpoint on how fast they could pick it up. From a fundamental standpoint, how natural they are at playing on their feet. I think that with a couple of these players that we have that are transition guys right now, they’re pretty natural at playing on their feet from what I’ve seen.”

(On if the rookie mini-camp was what he expected or was he surprised) – “No, not many surprises, I wouldn’t say. When you’re drafting them and you’re watching them on tape and you’re taking them off the little card off the draft board and putting them under your logo and any of those kind of things, you’re wishing and you’re hoping—and we’ve got a lot more time yet before we figure much of this out. I kind of like the way the group looks, I really do. I like the way they look mentally and physically. I kind of liked some of the things I’ve seen out here. It didn’t look too big for a lot of them when they were running around out here. Now the next step is to put them in that same fish bowl with the veteran players and see how they swim.”

(On what he wants the players to take home from this experience) – Well, there’s a bunch of things. I just got done talking to them a little while ago and I just told them you’ve really gotten a lot of information. They’ve gotten information from a social standpoint, football standpoint, and a nutritional standpoint. So, there’s been a bunch of information given to them and I just told them that right now they’ve got to start thinking more like Miami Dolphins and less like wherever they were at college or where they’re from or any of those types of things. We’ve given them some of the tools right now to go home in the next two weeks to succeed and to have success over the next couple of weeks before they come back. Whether or not they use them, we’ll see in a couple of weeks. I think from a mental standpoint, there’s a ton of things they take out of this with all the information football-wise—how they eat, how they drink over the next couple of weeks. There’s no more need to run a 40-yard dash right now or to work on the vertical jump. We need to worry about football things. So, that’s the kind of information that we’ve given them right now and I would hope that they’re getting back there and getting under the squat rack and starting to power clean and do the things that we do."

(On if he sends the rookies home with…film?) – No, you know me better than that. (laughing) I don’t care who it is, I’m not letting the film out of the building. (laughing) Right now, what they’ve done, they’ve taken all of their notes via the last three days. We clean up their notebooks and any of those types of things. That’s the information that they have with them. We give them a few handouts on some of the different lifts and we’ve given them an instructional session during the course of this training camp. We’ve brought them in the weight room, sat them down and have them with a couple of our players that were in the camp that have been doing some of the lifting—a couple of those guys go in there and demonstrate some of the different types of lifts the way we do them from a fundamental standpoint. So, they’ve gotten an awful lot of information to be able to take with them."

(On if he thinks the group of linebackers were the most impressive group) – “Well, there are four of them that we drafted. I think that’s kind of why I made that statement. But, I wouldn’t say that. I think that there are a couple of different positions. I was impressed with our receiver position. I think a lot of people did a lot of good things out here. But of course the receiver position, when you add a couple of the players that we had out here—getting the chance to look at Ryan (Grice-Mullen) and getting the chance to see (Julius) Pruitt a little bit and not running cards and doing practice squad things. Those were a couple of good groups. I think it made for a crisper practice.”

(On the long snapper Andy Huffman) – “Wought him in and he was a long snapper and we got a look at him. We weren’t really going to do any more team things at the end of that so everything was going to be individual.”

(On Nate Ness transitioning to corner from safety) – “Yeah I think that he has been getting better at it, I really do. He has done a better job from a fundamental standpoint, this kid really took very little time off at the end of the season, he is kind of a football grinder, he likes to get in here and lift and run and do these things. He is in great shape and really I thought, and did a good job. From a fundamental standpoint I like some of the things that he did out here. He likes to compete, so we will see.”

(On if the move is a full time move) – “To corner? He played (corner) most of the time last season, so yeah.”

(On what phase of the off season program the veterans players are in) – “When they come back, the veterans have this week off, this is the middle of the program. We finished week six, we have six weeks to go and those six weeks will have all our football stuff in it with the mini camps and OTA’s and their last six weeks of lifting.”

(On if Ronnie Brown is ready jump right in and do everything in the off season program) – “We will see. He’s doing pretty well.”

(On John Jerry playing at the right guard position today was to look at others at left guard) – “No I took him yesterday in the bubble and he went over there on the right side, so we split (the practices) two and two. I just kind of wanted to see, again, the differences. You see it on (his college) tape of course because you see him at right (tackle), but I just wanted to see him on the right side a little bit more than on the left side.”


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I was thinking about the talent on the roster the last couple of days and this is the best squad the Dolphins have had in about 6 or 7 years. The only positions that worry me are free safety and NT, but otherwise, this is a squad. Can't wait to see what they can do.

There is talent and good depth at many positions. I think this team can do some damage if they stay healthy (that's always a big IF in the NFL).


You have to appreciate the team that's been put together. Parcells and Co. started with an expansion roster that was every bit as untalented as their 1-15 record.

Was nice to hear that the receivers looked good.. We need play makers for sure..

preseason can't come soon enough. very excited to see these guys out there. Dolphins will finely be a very good team again.


Cleo Lemon

Cleo lemon , the greatest dolphin QB of all time . # 2 is John beck

Tony sounds like the teacher on charlie brown wah wah wa wa wah wa. He is not gonna say anything to hang his players out to dry or five any insight to anything. It us all orchestrated, which is fine, it's business, but I bet he us tough on them behind closed doors. I like how does things and the players resepect him for that.

Don't forget about culpepper...i think he may rival beck for that number two spot lol

4got bout pepper , what about feely?

Don't forget about Ray Lucas.

Who cares about football, lets talk more about Ireland and prostitutes!

I would prefer the following allignment for our front 3




note: Fergeson returns in game 9 ... so Solei (or Starks) will have to fill the slot until he returns ... and when Starks is in the middle Odrick will be his backup

Boooorrrrrriiiiiinnnnnngggg!! I'm the biggest Dolphin/football fan, but this is boring. No substance at all to this blog entry. This football all year idea is making it oversaturated, watered down. No more football til training camp for me unless we make a big move. NBA playoffs, MLB here comes Mr. B.

Very boring. Armando, what about Lake Palin? 200,000 gallons every single day. JLO for Governor!

Anonymous Dolphins team sources claim Rex Ryan has been petitioning the Jets Front Office to change the NY Jets team name to the NY Oilers for the Sept 26th Monday night matchup in Miami. Jets head coach Rex Ryan has already convinced NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani to lead his team in a pregame chant of “Jets! Baby! Jets!”. The NFL looking to ratchet up the rivalry between the teams is considering marketing the evening as an “explosive” night of football that could “sink the season” for the one of these division rivals. BP (Bill Parcells) has no comment one way or the other.

Looking over the roster last night, i noticed with JT & Porter now gone, Who is left?
In 3 Short years, this Staff has overturned 90% of the team and put a decent team on the field.
If I was on this team & Not picked by the current coaches, Id Definately be looking over my shoulder cuz I dont produce, Im gone. Hope you are paying Attention Crowder.
Misi will give us our best boost in his coverage skills. I rewatched a few games from last year & Almost every play, You saw linebackers 3-4 yards behind, Chasing Recievers giving up big plays on 2-3 Yard Passes.
Im expecting them to get as creative on Defence as they were on Offense & make this a Truly Fun To Watch Team this year


You guys still believe anything Tony says? I thought he was comfortable with our WR Corps.

I'm telling you guys that Mike Nolan is going to re-invent this defense. He's the best pick up we had!

Throw them under the bus? This is the first rookie mini of their careers. Whether or not Tony talks bad about his players to the media doesn't matter at this point. What coach in the world would talk bad about rookies who have just stepped onto an nfl field for the first time. Some of you should go to school to learn about football before making some of these comments

LosLobos your question makes no sense whatsoever

I would say that some people need to acquaint themselves with something called "common sense".

As noted, there is no way coach will throw anyone under the bus at this point, unless he is already prepared to dump the kid. What benefit can be had at saying,"Our first round pick sucks. I hope he can step it up"

Not only that, but how much can you really learn about a player based on what they did this weekend. They have SO much to learn plus have to show what they have in real practices and then pre-season games before coach can have enough on them to make fair assessments.. again, unless they are so crap that coach is going to cut them early.. I mean, it wouldn't take months to prove I shouldn't be on the team ;)

The Trifecta has created a totally new team over three years built around a philosophy of bigger and stronger rather than faster or more finesse and of selecting mainly high character guys and booting out people with frequent injuries or underachievers. This team will dominate both lines of scrimage will be able to run on anybody and stop anybody's run. We should now be able to pass well enough to stop opponents packing the box thanks to maturation of Henne and addition of Marshall. I am still worried about vulnerability to pass - CB should be better with experience but FS killed us last year and is unremedied. I am not worried about the NT position - Starks will cover it until Ferguson returns and Ferguson will have plenty of time to be in great shape for the second half of the season. Last year we could have beaten NO and the Colts but for our weakness at FS. I think we will be much more dominant this year. It is going to be a great season for us and a miserable one for the pathetic, aged patchwork Jets.

Am thinking we will be better at FS just by getting rid of Wilson.

We might not dominate at the position, but we have some guys with cover skills that can step in... plus, if our LBs can provide better coverage, that shortens up the FS responsibilities and allows him to concentrate on a smaller portion of field. also, with our CBs getting more experience, he can stop bitting as quickly on the pump fakes and can spend more time making sure no one gets past him.

Finally, if our pass rush is more consistent, it shortens the play time and further enhances our chances at making a play in the secondary.

I think with the defensive additions and with Nolan's more aggressive style, our defense will be MUCH improved, even at the FS position.. dare I say it - even if Wilson had remained (but am SO glad he is gone!)

So, Misi is going to be asked to handle the coverage assignments, with I guess Wake being asked to rush the QB, is that how assignments are being divided up?

And any word from Nolan Mando? When's his press conference?

Very well said, LipsinToronto !!!

My sentiments exactly ...

You clowns who pan Crowder just don't like the person. As a football player, his absence in a game was the most detrimental to the team of any of the linebackers last year, by far. Granted, he too often WAS absent, due to knee problems, and is not good in coverage (just like all the other 'backers last year). But he's good to have around against running teams. In general, though, I wouldn't be surprised if we wind up with Misi, Dansby, Edds, and Wake on the field at the same time, and sometimes line up Wake at right end in a 4-3 and flop Merling to the other end and move Lankford inside with Starks, and put either Dansby or Edds at an outside 'backer spot opposite Misi. These guys give us that kind of flexibility with Nolan, which is why they got them. And JT, who doesn't have that much experience at linebacker as it is, would have had to learn Nolan's system as well, so their inexperience doesn't put them that far behind where we would be without them.

(And when they need to go bigger, rotate Soliai in at NT/4-3tackle, with Starks at end/4-3tackle, because Starks and even Soliai might excell as 4-3 tackles. Not that I don't think Starks can adapt to the nose. But flexibility and surprise is good, especially when it comes to rushing the passer.)

And I forgot all about Odrick in place of Lankford as an end/4-3tackle. It does seem like a sensible draft, even if that non-sport-fan Misi doesn't have some other team that he'd rather watch than the Dolphins and their opponents.

Tony S. seems like a great guy but does anyone else get confused when he answers questions. Its almost like his own language.

Dolphins drafted very well.Love all the picks i really enjoyed the pick of Rashad Jones a fifth round steal. Being a Georgia Bulldogs fan im happy for him they need to get a veteran safety to help the young guys.

David300 is your mother a prostitute?


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